The awful individual errors which keep costing Pompey
Different country, new ground, but same depressingly familiar sight as another Pompey lapse heaped on yet more embarrassment.
It has so far proven to be a campaign of costly individual mistakes in defensive situations for Guy Whittingham’s men.
Certainly there is no one particular culprit leading the way in terms of awful errors which have gifted opposition players goals on many occasions.
On Tuesday night at Newport it was the turn of Bondz N’Gala and Trevor Carson to add their names to the lengthy roll of dishonour.
In the fifth minute Carson came to collect a high ball yet N’Gala got there first to nod it past him, allowing Conor Washington to finish into an empty net.
Another prime example of the Blues influencing their own downfall and, on this occasion, paved the way for a 3-0 loss and elimination from the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy.
There have, of course, been many, many more this season.
Phil Smith dropping the ball after colliding with Joe Devera and N’Gala at Mansfield, allowing Lindon Meikle to steer home an equaliser.
The unmarked Peter Murphy was there all alone at Accrington Stanley to nod home an 85th-minute equaliser at the far post after Tom Aldred had headed the ball across goal.
There was Plymouth’s Conor Hourihane with a left-foot finish after Yassin Moutaouakil had mis-controlled a right-wing cross from Reuben Reid as he positioned himself to clear.
Moutaouakil – who has three assists to his name at the other end – was also badly at fault in the build-up to Alfie Potter’s first goal in the opening day defeat to Oxford when not putting the ball out of play.
Carson allowed Danny Coles’ header from a right-wing corner to somehow go through his arms and into the net during Exeter’s 3-2 defeat.
And, of course, there was John Sullivan’s double mistake at York which included failing to hold Josh Carson’s free-kick in the build-up to the first goal and later dropping the same player’s corner for Lewis Montrose to net the second.
Not so clear cut was Stevenage in the FA Cup last weekend, with N’Gala and Moutaouakil both singled out for criticism over the two goals conceded, although the chief culprit depends on whose opinion you take into account.
Others will inevitably also come to mind, nonetheless there have been far too many mistakes in the opening 19 matches.
Whittingham said: ‘You could say probably tactically it isn’t anything that’s happening there, but we started the season with individual mistakes and the last two games they seem to have crept back in again.
‘You just have to remind them not to take any risks. You have to believe they are capable footballers at dealing with matters when they are out on the pitch – Tuesday night they didn’t. I have never seen so many costly mistakes in a season before.
‘But then again we haven’t been in the situation where we have been playing in League Two and people charge at you and there is a lot of desire to do well.
‘And once again on Tuesday night we saw human error.’
Pompey have conceded 29 goals in 19 matches in all competitions at present.